In a city inundated with outrageous decor and underwhelming flavors, Ink is a much needed reprieve in the LA food scene and a must visit for anyone within a two hour radius. If you're a fan of Top Chef, you'll know that Ink is the home of not one, but two Top Chef stars - Owner and Executive Chef Michael Voltaggio who won season six and Sous Chef Mei Lin who is currently a contestant on season twelve. These two chefs are serious dynamite in the kitchen and create some of the most intricate and innovative dishes I've ever had.
Don't be fooled by the dim lighting and the absence of color in the decor, there is nothing boring or simple about this modern American eatery. The menu is made up of dishes to share, all served in mid-sized portions - you won't be leaving hungry. Between two people, I suggest ordering 3-4 smaller dishes to share, 1-2 main meat dishes and 2 desserts because they are damn good. Every dish was packed with flavor, creatively plated and made me wonder why food isn't this amazing all the time - what have I been doing with my life?!? My must order recommendations include the following:
- Beef Tartare - the beef is so delicate and melts in your mouth like butter. It's not over thought - the quality ingredients shine and make for a great start to the meal.
- Egg Yolk Gnocchi - sitting in a shallow pool of brown butter sauce, you'll find pillows of doughy potato pasta that have a hidden secret - when you bite down, a burst of gooey egg yolk emerges from the center.
- Salt and Charcoal Potatoes - these are the most loved potatoes ever created. They sit for some ridiculous amount of hours brining in a bath of squid ink and salt water, then are dried and dusted with salt crystals - looking just like shimmery lumps of coal. To top it off, it is served with homemade sour cream and a spray bottle of black vinegar to add as desired. My mouth is watering just writing this.
- Desserts: Mountain Yam and/or Apple - I tried to pick between the two and I just couldn't. Combine molecular gastronomy with familiar flavors and a twist of genius and you've got these blow your mind, delicious works of art. They were so good, we seriously discussed for a full ten minutes ordering one more because we couldn't get enough.